Scientist Spotlight

In our weekly newsletters, we feature top scientists from our network and highlight their research. Check out their Halo profiles below and subscribe to our newsletters for exclusive interviews, RFP opportunities, upcoming events and more.

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Week of February 22, 2021

Bioplastics are paving the way for sustainable packaging. By advancing techniques for materials like glycerol-based biopolymers and bio-advantaged nylon, Dr. Eric Cochran, Director of the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites at Iowa State University, is developing thermosets and thermoplastics from greener materials without compromising performance. View profile >>

Week of February 8, 2021

Dr. Keith Vorst is rethinking food packaging by developing biobased foams for thermal insulation and reevaluating methods of post-consumer polyolefin recycling.  In addition to his work on sustainable materials and food safety, he also works to eliminate waste by realizing a more circular economy. View profile >>

Week of February 1, 2021

Dr. Gloria Oporto-Velásquez is developing and testing antimicrobial, renewable mask bio-filters constructed of composite biomaterials. The project could also lead to the development of innovative surfaces and other antimicrobial products resistant to coronavirus. In addition, she researches woody biomass for applications in packaging, catalyst and pharmacy fields. View profile >>

Week of January 25, 2021

Dr. Carson Meredith, Executive Director of Georgia Tech’s Renewable Bioproducts Institute, uses cellulose and chitin nanomaterials to create renewable barriers that can be used in packaging for food, medicine and electronics. He also develops new processes to meet current recycling challenges. View profile >>

Week of January 11, 2021

Dr. Katsuyuki Wakabayashi develops sustainable polymer blends and nancomposities for commercial and industrial packaging. He uses solid-state mechanochemical polymer processing techniques to solve appearance and performance issues commonly associated with recycled plastic products. View profile >>

Dr. Julián De la Rosa Millan uses biopolymer ingredients, like starch and other hydrocolloids, to create moisture barriers in packaging with varying levels of vapor permeability. In addition, he is developing pellets that can be co-extruded with plastics to make products more sustainable with improved thermomechanical properties. View profile >>

Week of January 4, 2021

Dr. Orlin Velev is the co-founder of Benanova, a startup that developed an environmentally-benign particle system (EbNPs) to target bacterium. Comprised of a biodegradable lignin-based core that carries antimicrobial silver ions, EbNPs can be used in anti-biofouling paints or coatings to prevent microbial growth. View profile >>

Dr. Daniel Krogstad studies the structure and properties of bio-inspired materials, and is currently developing a polymer-based material for coatings that can be used in packaging. His lab at the Applied Research Institute focuses on three key areas: scalable self-assembly, biomaterials and polymeric coatings. View profile >>

Week of December 14, 2020

Dr. Brenda Prager uses nanoparticles and chemical processes to develop multifunctional coatings that are extremely difficult to wet and resist heat transfer and microbial growth. Her work has the potential to expand paper use in food packaging and disposable food service products. It also has applications in aerospace, buildings and cosmetics. View profile >>

Dr. John Moore is the CEO of Nanocellutions, a company that uses nano-sized cellulose and antiseptic agents to develop a long-lasting spray that disinfects surfaces. The company also makes biodegradable single-use cups and plates through a film formation technique involving the dissolution and reconstruction of used cellulose nanomaterial. View profile >>

Dr. Joseph Furgal uses light and chemical processes to develop self-healing hybrid polymeric material with the ability to restore itself when damaged through thermal, mechanical or ballistic means. His work can be used to develop packaging that last long. It also has potential applications in transport vehicles, electronics and medical devices. View profile >>

Week of November 30, 2020

Dr. Rosario Gerhardt is an expert in porosity characterization, moisture detection and electrical properties, and studies structure-property-processing relationships across a variety of materials. Most recently, her research has focused on the fabrication method of polymer and ceramic composites and its effect on microstructure and properties. Using this method, she has developed thin films with applications for transparent electrodes, solar cell components, microwave heatable inserts, conductive paper and more. View profile >>

Dr. Jose Luis Diez is the CSO of Feltwood Ecomaterials, a company headquartered in Spain which has developed technology that transforms agricultural vegetable waste into ecological industrial materials as alternatives to plastic, wood and agglomerate. It has applications for packaging materials, insulation, flexible materials and hard materials. View profile >>

Dr. Bishnu Acharya studies processes for effectively converting low-value biomass into bio-products like carbon fibers, bioplastics, biofuel and other chemicals for industrial applications. Currently, he is investigating the use of carbohydrates (starch/cellulose) as a platform material for bioplastic in packaging. His research has further applications in composites, drug delivery, fuel, chemical, wastewater treatment and soil remediation. View profile >>